A new era is about to start in Sunrise.
The Florida Panthers made it official today announcing the sale of the franchise to New York City businessman Vincent Viola for what’s believed to be $230 million. (Update: John Shannon of Sportsnet says it’s for $250 million with about half of that going to creditors) His official title is chairman, principal owner and governor of Sunrise Sports & Entertainment and the Panthers. That’s a mouthful.
Viola is purchasing the team from, now former owner, Cliff Viner and his group of investors. Panthers coach Kevin Dineen tells George Richards of the Miami Herald he’s proud of what Viner did for the franchise.
“Cliff leaves the franchise much better than how he found it,” coach Kevin Dineen told the Miami Herald. “He leaves us on solid ground and heading in the right direction.”
Joining Viola in the front office is Douglas Cifu as vice chairman, partner and alternate governor. Michael Yormark, who you may recall from past Twitter dustups, is promoted to team president and CEO.
With new ownership in place, the team was able to sign goalie Tim Thomas to a one-year deal yesterday. Perhaps this is a sign of things making a a successful turnaround both on and off the ice for the Panthers.